Melitaea punica

African Knapweed Fritillary


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Photo: punica7.jpg

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, March 2022

Photo: punica1.jpg

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

Field notes and information

Identification & Similar species: DNA analysis has confirmed the species status of this taxon. No other closely similar species fly with it in N Africa. In nearby Spain, the knapweed fritillary, M. phoebe occitanica flies. They have similar larvae (black heads) but the adults are dissimilar, including genetalia. Upperside colouration is more uniform orange in the current species, which also seems rather smaller than M. phoebe.

Distribution & Flight: Confined to N Africa from the Atlantic coast to eastern Algeria. Not from Tunisia. Multi-brooded from spring to autumn.

Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy flowery rocky places from low to high levels. In my limited experience with the species: inhills and mountains.

Photo: punica2.jpg

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, April 2013

Photo: punica6.jpgPhoto: punica8.jpg

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, March 2022

Photo: punica4.jpgPhoto: punica5.jpg

Anti-Atlas, Morocco, March 2022